I walked to the temple yard on one morning. The sun was shining far away from behind toward the right side of the temple, casting its rays to the temple, and to the beautiful flower garden around the temple.

It was quiet yet peaceful morning in Ulun Danu Temple.

It seemed that nobody was around. I walked through the path toward the first gate of the temple. I saw the big banyan tree on my right wrapped in black and white checkered cloth as a respect to the spirit that dwelled in the tree.

The sacred banyan tree.

Passing the tree, I arrived at the gate. This is called a candi bentar or a split gate. It symbolizes a mythical mountain that split itself in two parts. When the bad spirit try to pass the gate, it will close itself. Or so the story has been passed down generation to generation.

The split gate to enter the temple courtyard.

The temple is called Ulun Danu Temple, which means edge of the lake. Indeed, the temple is just located by a lake called Lake Bratan. In the ancient time, people work as farmers in this village. A small island with a tree growing in just by the lake. This was an indication for the people to build the temple, and to use this as a place for worshiping the goddess of prosperirty called Dewi Sri or Dewi Danu, or Dewi Laksmi. This was the legend! In reality, in 1634, the local king of Mengwi Kingdom instructed the building of this temple.

From the main gate, looking to the left, there was a building called stupa. This building is not a Balinese Hindu shrine, but for Buddhist. This indicates that there was a good relationship between Hinduism and Buddhism in Bali since a long time ago until now.

The stupa on the left side of the split gate.
The stupa become slanted after 400 years.

And at the right side, there was a pavilion where wooden bell was placed. Mostly used in the past to give signal that prayer time was starting. But it was not used everyday, only for temple festival time. When the people heard the bell was sounded, they would go to the temple. And following the tradition, despite the communication technology we have nowadays, the wooden bell still sounded during the start of prayer time.

The wooden bell on the right side of the gate.

Walking passed the gate, I arrived in the first court yard. There were small pavilions around this yard. And the ground was planted with grass that maintained quite well.

The "closed gate" to the inner yard and grass growing neatly on the ground.

The inner yard, behind the closed gate is a place or worship.

Then when I got closer to the lake, I could see the two multi tier roofed shrines on a little island just by the Lake Bratan. These two shrines can be reached easily when the tide is low. When the tide is high, the people have to put temporary bridge to reach this island. Usually only the temple priest go this shrines.

The multi-tier-roofed shrines on the little island by Lake Bratan.

Near these shrines the flowers were blossoming in the garden. It makes the view even more beautiful It's an ideal place for photography. More people come to the temple as I arrived at the backside of these shrines.


The garden was quite beautiful so I continued walking around it. I stopped to take photos of flowers and then walked again until the pier beside the temple where boats were parked. These boats were used to sail to the lake and beyond. Mostly they were used for travelers who wish to ride the boat around the lake.

The path to walk around the garden

The flowers in the garden.

The pier and boats.

Thank you for visiting.